Barbs Carp Minnows and Danios (Cyprinid)

The Barb, Carp and Danio (Cyprinid) family is the largest order of fresh-water fish, with over 2000 species. Schooling fish, mostly from Asia, with a few species from Africa and Europe, they are found in all types of water systems. Goldfish, Koi, and even Loaches belong to this family, although Loaches are generally grouped separately.

Map of Barb Distribution

They can be recognized by the small Barbells at the corners of the mouth, although sometimes you have to look very close to see them. The body shape is elongated to high-backed and slightly compressed laterally . The upper and lower profiles are usually similar being the typical fish shape. Barbs and Danios are often confused with the similar looking Characins, but unlike the Characins, they never have an Adipose fin between the Dorsal and Caudal fins.

Most can be kept with other fish of the same size and temperament, but some species such as the infamous Tiger Barb do tend to be "Nippy" and can be tempted to nibble at other long-fined tank mates. Others like the Tin Foil Barb and the Clown loach will get too large for most community setups and it is imperative to research any fish before purchasing and adding it to your aquarium.

The Cyprinids are egg scattering seasonal spawners so a large water change and slight lowering of temperature will often induce spawning. They will also eat the eggs after spawning so soft bushy plants are ideal to protect the eggs until the spawning pair can be removed.